From bottomless prosecco fountains and an Aussie beach Christmas to immersive fantasy realms, F&B outlets have upped the ante when it comes to creating a point of difference for their venues this festive season.



The Winery in Surry Hills has just launched bottomless prosecco picnics, on offer every Friday through Sunday from now until December 30 as part of a Summertime promotion.

The restaurant isn’t simply offering the standard two hours of bottomless booze, either. Instead of table service, patrons have unlimited access to an antique-looking stone fountain, which comes complete with a carved lion that has a prosecco tap for a mouth. Patrons can pour-their-own bubbly from that tap throughout the two hours while enjoying an extensive picnic spread. The Prosecco Picnic costs $79 per person, with sittings at noon and 2.30pm every Friday through Sunday until December 30.


The Grounds of Alexandria has been transformed into a sprawling wonderland of snow, sweets and flowers.  The immersive fantasy playground is a joint venture between The Grounds and Disney to mark the release of their new movie The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.

The already gorgeous setting now plays host to a pop-up, other-worldly oasis, made up of a series of realms referencing those in the film. There’s the wintery Land of Snowflakes, where fresh snow falls three times a day and an explosion of colourful blooms grace the Land of Flowers, while a sugary experience — along with plenty of edible treats — awaits in the Land of Sweets.

The Grounds of Alexandria will be functioning as normal during the Nutcracker pop-up, and the Garden Bar, Potting Shed and cafe will be open.


Sun, sand, beach and BBQ’s are the quintessential ingredients for an Aussie Christmas – and the newly refurbished Coogee Beach Club plan to do it all in spades when it reopens on December 15 – just in time to capture the holiday market.

Designed to appeal to locals as well as international travellers, the Dolphin Street club will offer a new relaxed watering hole in the popular beachside suburb – complete with daily spit roasts, buckets of fresh prawns, jugs of cocktails and hopefully even the odd game of beach volleyball.


St Kilda’s iconic Esplanade Hotel reopened last week after stage one of a massive renovation by new owners Sand Hill Road.

When complete, there’ll be 12 bars, three band stages and two restaurants, and punters will have access to areas that have been closed to the public for 60 years.

Technē Architecture is looking after the overhaul of the grand, 140-year-old seaside building. Eighteen months in the making, the all-new Espy will open in two stages. The first – last week – includes the beer garden, public bar, a more expansive main bar, a light-filled garden terrace that overlooks St Kilda pier, and a basement band room.

The Espy Kitchen is open too, manned by a team of 60 chefs serving pizzas, and charcoal-grilled and rotisserie meats. A Cantonese restaurant and cocktail bar, Mya Tiger, will open in early December.

The Gershwin Room remains relatively unchanged, but it’s been cleaned out and given a new sound system, in keeping with plans to bring live music back to the strip.

Sources: Broadsheet, Concrete Playground